Google Pixel 4: India Launch Not Feasible Due to 60GHz Ban; Soli Radar Cannot Work

While many markets are cheering and welcoming the launch of the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL Tuesday, at least one major market, Indian won’t get to see the new model. The Indian government does not allow the use of the 60GHz frequency by civilian entities. This frequency is essential for the Soli radar chip to be functional. Key features like hand gesture controls and facial ID for unlocking the phone won’t be functional unless the Soli radar is activated. Realizing this, the company has decided not to launch the new models in the Indian market.

Google Pixel 4

Mixed Reactions to Google’s Decision

Even as the news filtered in of Google deciding to hold back the launch of the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL in the Indian market, many fans of the company and its hardware were upset. They posted many messages online. Some of them directly tagged the Google CEO Sundar Pichai since he is of Indian origin. Some felt the company should have known this and found a way to get around it.

There were however others who had different takes on this. One view says even if Google had launched these phones, they would not have been able to register decent sale numbers mainly due to the price factor. Unlike most other brands that have a base for making phones in India, Google does a 100% import and the duty on mobile phones in India as a steep 28%. Even Apple has started making its iPhones locally now. From that perspective, the decision really may not hurt Google much.

Google Pixel 4a and 4a XL the Answer?

One of the suggestions doing the rounds is that Google could make some modifications and add a fingerprint sensor on the Google Pixel 4a and 4a XL. There is the aspect of the Soli radar being present in the phone but not functional. That is for Google to look into. Again, this is just a one-off suggestion. The technology giant may find other ways if it is keen to see its latest hardware used in India. This is largest market in the world for mobile phones after China and it would be odd to remain out of it.

Some critics are not overly impressed with Google’s credentials in the hardware space and feel nothing is lost if the latest Pixel range phones don’t find their way into the Indian markets.

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